Toyota, Honda beat profit estimates but warn of extended chip crunch
Toyota Motor Corp posted record quarterly earnings and Honda Motor Co raised its annual profit forecast on Wednesday as post-lockdown sales surge, but the pair joined other automakers in warning that the global chip shortage would persist.
Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp posted record quarterly earnings and Honda Motor Co raised its annual profit forecast on Wednesday as post-lockdown sales surge, but the pair joined other automakers in warning that the global chip shortage would persist.
A resurgence in COVID-19 cases has disrupted parts supplies and production at car companies, compounding a months-long pandemic-fuelled chip crunch.
The two Japanese car makers are facing production problems in China, which on Wednesday reported the most new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since January.
Honda Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi told reporters that the company suspended production at its plant in Wuhan on Aug. 3 due to a COVID-19 case cluster that developed at a supplier. He added that the stoppage was not expected to last long.
Toyota has suspended production at one assembly line in Guangzhou that it operates with its Chinese joint-venture partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (601238.SS), a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
The person, who declined to be named due to confidentiality reasons, could not say when the suspension began, how long it would last, nor which models were affected.
In Thailand too, Toyota, the world's largest automaker by sales volumes, had to suspend production last month at three factories due to a pandemic-related parts shortage. read more
Still, the company maintained its forecast to sell 8.7 million cars in the year ending March 2022 and said sales volumes in the first quarter recovered to near 2019 levels.
Toyota shares fell as much as 2%, and closed down 0.9%, with some investors disappointed that the company had not lifted its profit guidance despite beating a first-quarter market estimate.
Honda, Japan's No.2 automaker by sales, lowered it sales volume outlook to 4.85 million vehicles from 5 million but raised its full-year forecast after swinging to a first-quarter operating profit that was double analyst expectations.
"We made a downward revision of our sales volume outlook due to the COVID resurgence around the world but centred around Asia, as well as the impact from the chip shortage," Kuraishi told reporters.(Reuters)